Jazz artist provides mature music for QU audience

Erin Bohmer

Ann Hampton Callaway made her Quinnipiac debut on Wednesday, Nov. 8 in Buckman Theatre as part of The Sonny Costanza Concert Series. She is an award-winning, multi-platinum artist from Chicago who proved throughout her performance that jazz is not dead.

Callaway is a singer, songwriter, pianist and actress. She has recorded more than 40 CDs as a soloist and a guest artist combined. Callaway was also in the hit Broadway play “Swing” which earned her a Tony Award nomination for “Best Featured Actress in a Musical.”

Buckman was packed for Callaway’s performance, mostly with men and women ranging from 45-70 years old, with only a few students there. The crowd adored her from the moment she walked out because of her mature humor and her talent. After every song she received claps, yells, and whistles. After performing “Blue Moon,” her last song she made up while playing the piano to bid the audience good-bye, she received a standing ovation.

Callaway’s voice is sophisticated and classic. She sings from the heart with happiness in her voice. Her use of voice effects and skat singing is unreal. She was able to make the sound of a trumpet just with her voice that sounded like she took lessons from Louis Armstrong. She reached high and low notes that were off the charts and she did it all at ease. Her ability to channel the great Billie Holiday and Sarah Vaughan through her voice, making it sound like they were actually on stage with her, was amazing.

Her presence on stage was overwhelmed with passion, a positive attitude and a great sense of humor. Her energy never diminished throughout her entire performance and she constantly had a smile accompanying her voice.

Her attitude, talent and stage presence just made everyone stare at her in awe and with smiles. Her talent is as big as her passion and humor. Although she’s no newcomer, she should be a new addition to everyone’s iPod. Crowd favorites were her covers of Carol King’s “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow” and “Blue Moon.”